The Salvation Army for a new generation

Artistic Worship

I’m Adam Howie, I live in Edinburgh and attend Gorgie Corps.

I first got into art as a kid when my parents got me to draw to keep me quiet during the services. As I grew up I kept my love for art but I never did much with it; it remained a constant part of my life, just not one that I focused on. Then in 2006 I had the opportunity to try being an artist full time, so I took the step of faith and started working for myself, rekindling my love not just for creating art but also for studying it.

In 2008 I was asked by ALOVE if I would paint during the youth venue at ROOTS. I was nervous about going as I had never painted in worship before. I had seen people doing it but had never tried it myself, except during some prayer events, and certainly never publicly. The folks at the venue were fantastic and supported me through my nerves. As I painted during the weekend I began to realise something… I felt more connected in worship than I had in many years. I was more able to let myself go in worship as I painted, to be free and open before God. I was also using my gifts and talents not just for myself but also for others to help them in their worship.

Since then I have painted as a part of collective worship at various corps and divisional events, as well as the 2009 Youth Rally, the week before which I was in Berlin with some other Christian artists who were graffiti/street artists, doing an exhibition. I also tried giving talks/sermons while painting, which is an interesting experience to say the least! Most recently I was invited to paint at Deep Impact, an inter-denominational weekend for youth workers in Aviemore.

Using art in worship is not about the skill or style of the artist, it is not about creating a masterpiece, or the attention. It is about worshipping a creative God through creativity; it is about reflecting the worship that is happening around you, using it as a focus in some way to distil the spirit of that worship into an artwork. It is about being open to the Spirit and allowing him to be involved, and to be sensitive to his inspiration and guiding. It gives an immense feeling of creative freedom in worship as you draw on the creative aspects of God to worship him.

Art can be used to reflect what is inside us. It allows us to explore what we could not, or would not want to, put into words. In a way, art can be our deepest and most open, honest, and even vulnerable prayers, as well as our greatest joys, highest hopes, and purest joys. Art can inspire, challenge, and even provoke thought and emotions. It can be a powerful part of our worship as individuals and collectively.

Note from ALOVE - Adam is going to be using his artistic skills to help us in our worship at Youth ROOTS! Make sure you get booked in so you don't miss out!

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